Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier 'Martial Art Sparring Match' Set for Dec. 12

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2020

Conor McGregor, left, kicks Dustin Poirier, during their fight, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, in Las Vegas. McGregor won via TKO. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

Conor McGregor announced Wednesday he'll take part in an exhibition sparring match with Dustin Poirier on Dec. 12 in Dublin to support charity.

McGregor and Poirier previously faced off at UFC 178 in September 2014. The Notorious earned Performance of the Night honors with a first-round knockout of The Diamond.

The 32-year-old Irishman has spent the past few months embarking on his third retirement. He generated headlines earlier this month when he showcased a random UFC drug test administered by the United States Anti-Doping Agency while aboard his yacht:

Although McGregor has remained steadfast on staying retired from MMA, UFC president Dana White said on ESPN's SportsCenter (via Simon Samano of MMA Junkie) he could return in early 2021.

"We're actually working on some fun stuff for Conor at the beginning of next year. He should be back next year," White said. "I'm not saying he's coming back to fight guaranteed, but we're talking about some stuff."

McGregor hasn't confirmed those intentions, instead saying he's shifted his focus to another boxing match, this time against Manny Pacquiao.

"Anyway all water under the bridge who gives a fook," he wrote Friday on Twitter. "I'm boxing Manny Pacquiao next in the Middle East."

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He suffered a 10th-round knockout loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in his August 2017 boxing debut. Mayweather, an undefeated five-division world champion, was in total control of the bout and never seriously threatened en route to his 50th straight win.

Meanwhile, McGregor will take part in a charity showcase against Poirier that the announcement says will be free to air as he works to finalize his next step.

He's entered the Octagon just twice since late 2016 but it'd be a surprise if he's actually retired from UFC.